James F Casella, M.D.

Headshot of James F Casella
  • Chief of Pediatric Hematology
  • Professor of Pediatrics


Pediatric Hematology Oncology

Research Interests

Sickle Cell Disease, with emphasis on neurologic complications; Hemophilia; Inherited blood disorders ...read more

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The Johns Hopkins Hospital (Main Entrance)

Appointment Phone: 410-955-2457
1800 Orleans St.
Sheikh Zayed Tower
Baltimore, MD 21287 map
Phone: 410-955-6132 | Fax: 410-955-8208


Dr. James Casella is a professor of pediatrics and oncology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. As the Johns Hopkins’ Rainey Professor of Pediatric Hematology, Dr. Casella is chief of the Division of Pediatric Hematology at Johns Hopkins Children's and director of the Basic and Translational Research Program in Sickle Cell Disease, Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center and the Maryland Hemophilia Treatment Center at Johns Hopkins.

He supervises several labs investigating the cellular and molecular basis of pediatric blood-borne diseases. He is seeking to develop better treatments for sickle cell disease and the prevention of central nervous system complications of this disorder, including stroke.

Dr. Casella received his undergraduate degree in mathematics from Union College. He earned his M.D. from SUNY of Syracuse and completed a residency in pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where he was subsequently a fellow in hematology/oncology. He has been a member of the Johns Hopkins’ faculty since 1983.

A research scientist as well as a clinician, he co-directs the hematology/oncology fellowship program at Johns Hopkins Hospital and is an adjunct senior investigator (Pediatric Oncology Branch) in the Division of Clinical Sciences, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health. He is also director of the NHLBI-funded K12 in benign hematology program at Johns Hopkins that trains young clinician/investigators in benign hematology and transfusion medicine.

Dr. Casella has served on numerous university, hospital, and advisory committees, many geared toward hematology, pediatrics and transfusion. He has received many awards from the Johns Hopkins Hospital, including the Alexander "Buck" Schaffer Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Teaching of House Officers. He and a colleague created the Johns Hopkins/St. Agnes Comprehensive Hemophilia Clinic to improve care for patients with the disease.

...read more


  • Chief of Pediatric Hematology
  • Director, Basic and Translational Research Program and Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center at Johns Hopkins
  • Director, Comprehensive Hemophilia Treatment Center at Johns Hopkins
  • Rainey Professor of Pediatric Hematology
  • Professor of Pediatrics
  • Professor of Oncology

Departments / Divisions

Centers & Institutes



  • MD; SUNY Upstate Medical University (1976)


  • Pediatrics; Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (1979)


  • Hematology and Oncology; Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (1980)

Board Certifications

  • American Board of Pediatrics (Hematology-Oncology) (1982)
  • American Board of Pediatrics (Pediatrics) (1982)

Research & Publications

Research Summary

Dr. Casella’s research focuses on sickle cell disease, with an emphasis on neurologic complications. One of his current projects uses a non-biased proteomic analysis of plasma samples from the ongoing Pediatric Silent Infarct Transfusion (SIT) Trial from patients with or without sickle cell disease.

Clinical Trial Keywords

Genetics and proteomics of sickle cell disease; Vaso-occlusive crisis in sickle cell disease; Neurovascular disease in sickle cell disease

Clinical Trials

Hydroxyurea to Prevent Brain Injury in Sickle Cell Disease (HUPrevent)

Selected Publications

Khan J, Takemoto C, Casella J, Streiff M, Nwanko I, and Kim J. “Catheter-directed thrombolysis of inferior vena cava thrombosis in a 13-day old neonate and review of literature.” CardioVascular & Interventional Rad, October 2007.

Strouse JJ, Takemoto CM, Keefer JR, Kato GJ, Casella JF. “Corticosteroids and Increased Risk of Readmission after Acute Chest Syndrome in Children with Sickle Cell Disease.” Pediatric Blood and Cancer 2007 Sep 11; [Epub ahead of print].

Scothorn, DJ, Price C, Buchanan GR, Shurney W, Schwartz D, Sarniak I, Fallon R, Chu JY, Wang W, Casella JF, Resar L, Berman B, Adamkiewicz T, Hsu L, Ohene-Frempong K, Smith-Whitley K, Mahoney D, Scott JP, Woods G, Watanabe M, and DeBaun MR. “Rates of hospitalization for pain and acute chest syndrome in children with sickle cell anemia after five years or more of blood transfusion therapy following stroke.” Manuscript in preparation.

Phillips KL, An P, Boyd JH, Strunk RC, Casella JF, Barton BA, and DeBaun MR. “Major Gene Effect and Additive Familial Pattern of Inheritance of Asthma Exist among Families of Probands with Sickle Cell Anemia and Asthma.” Am J Human Biol, April, 2007.

Hulbert ML, Scothorn, DJ, Panepinto JA, Scott JP, Buchanan GR, Sarnaik S, Fallon R, Chu J-Y, Wang W, Casella JF, Resar L, Berman, B, Adamkiewicz T, Hsu LL, Smith-Whitley K, Mahoney D, Woods G, Watanabe M, and DeBaun MR. “Exchange blood transfusion for first overt stroke is associated with a lower risk of subsequent stroke than simple transfusion: a retrospective cohort of 137 children with sickle cell anemia.” J Pediatr 149: 710-2, 2006.

Activities & Honors


  • Outstanding Clinical Teaching of House Officers, Alexander J. Schaffer Award, 1997
  • Established Investigator Award , American Heart Association, 1991 - 1996
  • John Howland Award, Johns Hopkins University, 1988
  • Honorable Mention Young Investigator Award for Pediatric Research, Society for Pediatric Research, 1986
  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow National Research Service Individual Award, 1982 - 1984
  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow, American Heart Association Maryland, 1981 - 1982
  • Summa Cum Laude, Union College, 1972
  • Phi Beta Kappa, 1972


  • American Society of Hematology
  • American Society of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology
  • Society for Pediatric Research

Professional Activities

  • Medical Advisor, National Hemophilia Foundation, Maryland Chapter
  • Editorial Board, Pediatrics

Patient Ratings & Comments

The Patient Rating score is an average of all responses to physician related questions on the national CG-CAHPS Medical Practice patient experience survey through Press Ganey. Responses are measured on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the best score. Comments are also gathered from our CG-CAHPS Medical Practice Survey through Press Ganey and displayed in their entirety. Patients are de-identified for confidentiality and patient privacy.

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